Yes, laughter is the best medicine, but it’s also contagious. And, like any disease, it can get you in a whole lot of trouble. Whether you’re at church, a business meeting, or saying goodbye forever to dear old granddad. These are all places where laughter is inappropriate and sometimes absolutely impossible to avoid. Hang on to your hats, it’s going to be a wild—and possibly tearful—ride.
Years ago when I was at the Academy, one of our classmates did not make it to graduation. So, we asked her to come back and sing the national anthem at our graduation ceremony. She had a really great voice, and I offered to print out the lyrics for her because it can be a tricky song. She said she didn’t need it, she had this down. She was so wrong.
So, when the graduation came around, our expectations of her performance were pretty high. As it turned out she didn’t know the lyrics very well at all and she messed up the words really badly. Of course, I couldn’t help but laugh. It was the saddest thing. We were all standing at attention with our hands in our hearts, facing the flag and doing everything we could not to completely break down in laughter.
This was at a ballet school performance and there were kids ranging from five to 16-year-olds. For one of the younger age groups they did this thing where one kid pranced from one corner of the stage to the other, and then another kid would do the opposite, in a big X pattern. All the kids seemed to have the same gigantic grins on their faces. They were just horribly precious.
Well, I started losing it at about the 15th kid, but it went on for like 40 children! By the end, I was in tears. All the other adults in the audience near me had found it contagious so everyone was just sitting there laughing at their own children.
We were at my uncle's funeral whose passing was a big surprise. I was standing with my cousin who’d just come back from abroad to attend her dad's funeral and she was really breaking down. My aunt, the deceased's sister, came to tell my cousin that someone we know was apologizing for not being able to attend. The reason she couldn’t attend was horrifying: She was in the hospital due to a terrible car accident.
My aunt went on describing the woman's very serious condition, and how she had an "iron pole" stuck into her forehead. Ten minutes later, the woman who was supposedly in this terrible crash appears through the door in perfect health. She just had some scratches. My cousin sees her and looks at me from the other side of the crowded silent room and we both can't stop laughing for the rest of the funeral.
When we were younger, my friend and I were altar boys. An older woman once took to the podium to read a Bible passage. The passage described how Jesus loves everyone: the sick and the healthy, the rich and the poor, and, get this, the circumcised and the uncircumcised. That's all it took for a pair of ten-year-old boys to start laughing like crazy in front of a packed church.
I was at a friend’s wedding and during the ceremony a woman got on stage to sing. I’m sure she was going to sing a song that was special to the happy couple—something meaningful for them. As soon as the woman opened her mouth, my stomach dropped. She was absolutely tone-deaf. In all honesty, it sounded like an animal being tortured.
Of course, I was trying not to laugh but two guys sitting behind me started laughing and it set off a chain reaction of laughter. Even the groom was red-faced from trying not to laugh. The woman who was singing just kind of sheepishly left the stage after her performance.
I was once hired to sing at a funeral and right before I was called up, the little boy in front of me let one rip. I dug my face into my lady friend’s shoulder and my whole body trembled as I tried to keep it together. Within seconds I was at the pulpit and trying to come up with what I would do if I broke out laughing. I sang to the best of my ability at the time with a “cough” every now and then. We left immediately afterward and laughed in the car till we couldn’t breathe.
This happened to me in group therapy. A young guy was talking passionately about his struggles with Asperger's and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and he had a really squeaky voice. He started talking about his OCD categories: things that belonged under the earth, things that belonged on the earth, things that belonged in the water, and things that belonged in space. He started naming specific objects like rocks and bugs and things like that.
He then said there were some things he could not fit neatly into his categories, even if they seemed like they were supposed to be in one. This really distressed him. He bemoaned cars. He bemoaned women and he even pointed at one. But then he suddenly dropped a bombshell: With no segue at all, he announced that the reason he was there was because he’d snuck into the zoo at night and leapt into the lion enclosure.
I had to bury my face in my elbow and turn away. Of course, his problems were real, but it just seemed so out of nowhere and hilarious.
A few years ago I was participating in a religious ceremony with my extended family. I'm not religious, but my mom and her family are, so I agreed to participate. I was tasked with reading one of the sections aloud and had to read off a list of titles of the Virgin Mary. Most of them were pretty straightforward, "Queen of the Angels, Queen Most Holy", things like that.
There's one section, however, that starts with the word "Virgin...". I get to it and I'm trying not to smirk, but as soon as I said the phrase "Virgin Most Powerful" I glanced at my brother and my significant other and they were grinning at me. That was what destroyed me. Their grins caused me to burst into giggles, and I had to excuse myself while my mom glared knives into me.
Needless to say, someone else continued the rest of the reading.
My family was at the service for my cousin's grandmother. A priest came up to give a eulogy and he didn't know anything about the deceased, except some things that someone had told him just prior to the funeral. He got into it, and I swear it was like he was trying to get us to laugh. He said things like "You know it says that God knows the number of hairs on your head, personally I think that's kind of creepy." My dad and I just sort of looked at one another, as if to say "Is this real?"
Then the priest went on with stuff like: "It says here she liked to knit, that must mean she was very patient". This guy had next to nothing to go on, but he wasn't exactly making the most of it. My dad and I started chuckling, and trying to suppress it. Then the priest said: "I remember her at bingo. We all had our methods of good luck. Some people used frog eyes, others would bang out the ashes of their pipes on the table".
Well, that did it, we couldn't stop, my dad and I were shaking from trying to suppress our laughter so hard. It was really bad. My brother was nudging me because we were starting to get looks, but it was too late. Here this grandmother is lying there in a casket and the priest is talking about frog eyes. I can only hope that from behind it looked like I was crying at least.
When I was young my entire family had to go to family counseling. One time the therapist asked what my sister and I wanted to get out of being there. I thought I would be honest, and I said that I wanted my parents to stop arguing. After I said that, my parents immediately started an argument between them. As soon as I looked at my sister, we both started laughing like crazy. I mean, come on!
The counselor asked us to go wait outside
One time I did IT for a company that had a CEO who hated technology. He hated IT and in turn, hated the entire IT staff. Because of this, our 400-person office had only one helpdesk with two people and one System administrator. Since the CEO hated technology, he always went with the cheapest option/fix available at any time.
The network was an absolute garbled piece of garbage. Especially after years of him ignoring IT’s pleas that these quick fix solutions were going to come back and bite us later. By the time I started working there, it had all finally caught up with the company. They were in big trouble. It was the equivalent of starting at a butcher shop where the only tools available were plastic butter knives.
So anyway, apparently the solution to this was to hire a new IT manager. Poor guy had no idea what he was in for. This new guy walks in and about one week in, he starts reading down this list of stuff that needs fixed, and he's starting to become more and more surprised. I can see the look on his face change as it's sinking in what a mess this entire IT department was in.
It was funny, so I laughed. I wasn't laughing as in "I don't take this seriously". I was laughing at the impossibleness of our situation and how absolutely screwed we were and how fruitless basically any effort would be without more staffing and a hardware budget. Well, this new manager wrote me up, and I got a bad report because apparently me laughing was me not taking things seriously.
It was like if someone told you to clean 200 tractor trailers, and then gave you a toothbrush to do it. You'd laugh in exasperation too, right?
This was my cousin’s wedding, and the first Catholic wedding I’ve attended. At some point, my cousin and the groom sat there while the priest—in a very stern tone—told them that they must be there for each other, must love each other, must do this, must do that, etc. It was nothing bad per se, but this scolding tone was new to me.
All the weddings I’d attended up to this point were light-hearted and then I saw these two sit there pretty much being yelled at by a priest. So, naturally, the absurdity of this situation made me laugh. Soon my fiance started to laugh, then my mom, followed by my sister. My dad, however, takes church very seriously and just refused to see the humor.
This happened at the Marine Corps boot camp. After evening showers in the barracks, you have to line up wearing only a towel for the "Health & Comfort" inspection. The barracks—back in those days, at least—was a long open room, with bunk beds on each side. So, of course, each side lines up facing the center of the room, looking straight ahead as the drill instructors make their way down the line.
As they get to you, you are supposed to drop your towel, put your hands above your head, spin around and recite: "Sir, this private has no personal or medical problems at this time, sir!" The problem was, the guy directly across from me was able to flex his pecs, individually. He thought it would be funny to do that, right when it was my turn to get inspected. So, about three seconds before I have to drop my towel, he starts rapidly flexing one then the other. I cracked up and barely got my line out.
We both did a lot of push-ups and mountain climbers that night.
My daughter was probably in first or second grade and she was doing an online math homework where she had to answer a bunch of math questions. At the end, the program would give her a percentage of the ones she got correct, and then ask her to do the ones that she missed again. After getting every answer wrong, she was down to one question. When she got that one wrong, the computer told her that she got 0% correct.
The poor girl burst out crying because she got zero. For some reason, I thought that was so funny. I tried not to, but I burst out laughing and couldn't stop. Well, this made her even more upset, and she cried harder and harder because I was laughing at her. Unfortunately, her tears and anger just made me laugh even harder.
This was after the most horrible terrorist attack in our country's history. I was in class with some people who survived it and one of these was a really heavy girl. She was telling the story about how she survived and it included a part where she said that she rolled down a hill to get to safety. Despite the seriousness of the situation, I couldn't stop myself from laughing at the thought of her actually rolling down a hill.
I was working at a sign-shop and me and this other guy were drilling holes into some wood paneling. Suddenly, the other guy told me to look, and he acted like he was going to drill into the side of his head. The drill bit he was using was one of those flat and wide ones used for boring large holes. So, it wasn’t going to hurt him or anything.
But there was one thing he didn't consider: The spinning drill might grab ahold of his hair. Well, that’s exactly what happened, and it ripped out a chunk of hair, and left a perfectly-round half-dollar sized bald-spot on the side of his head. I had to set down whatever I was doing since I was laughing so hard. Of course, I kept apologizing to him for doing so.
He told me the next day that his girlfriend reacted the same way I did.
One of our friend’s grandma had just passed, so we had my friend over so she had someone to talk to. Before she passed, my friend’s grandma had developed bad schizophrenia and didn’t recognize her own husband or daughter. During our visit, our friend went on to describe one particularly dramatic evening.
That evening, her grandma started to throw dishes at grandpa since, well, she didn’t recognize him. He had to dodge all those plates and glasses, which I had to picture and found somewhat amusing. Then, our friend mentioned that her poor grandpa was wheelchair-bound. Now I had to imagine her grandpa frantically wheeling around the room, trying to dodge flying dishes.
I had to excuse myself to the bathroom where I completely lost it.
As a kid, I was known for having nervous laughter. Any kind of stressful situation like being scolded I couldn’t help but laugh nervously. One time I was sitting on the bus and my body was turned to the side because I was talking to someone. Because of the way I was turned, my leg was in the aisle. Then down the aisle came a lady who was taking roll call or something.
To be honest, I didn’t even see her coming. Well, she tripped on my tiny child leg and fell hard because she couldn’t catch herself. All I could do was laugh and almost cry. Later I was talked to by the principal and they were angry as anything because the lady told them I did it on purpose and laughed at her afterward. That’s when the laughter started all over again.
I used to go to church every Sunday with my mum, who has a very raucous, obnoxious, difficult-to-stifle laugh. At church, usually, a lovely lady called Julia would play the organ, but occasionally—just occasionally—Julia would be unavailable for some reason, and Jeremy would step in. Jeremy was a musical maverick, with little to no regard for rhythm, notes, or key.
Jeremy would just hammer down on that organ like he was chasing out the devil. What he was playing would have no relation to the song as the congregation knew it. As a rural British parish, we didn’t care to make a fuss. We would all try in vain to sing along as Jeremy’s playing got ever more exuberant. Louder and more extravagant with each passing second.
It was like something straight out of The Simpsons. The more his audience tried to sing along, the greater excesses his playing would reach. Of course, this made my mother laugh even harder—and louder. She would be madly snorting as Jeremy played on like the deranged piper he was. Jeremy only played maybe twice a year, but I really lived for those Sundays.
Recently, my mom went to the doctor for a bowel prep. When she was there, somehow they failed to tell her that they gave her a super strong laxative for the scope. Later, I got a frantic call from my father. He was asking if I could come over because my mom was in trouble. Apparently, she’d pooped all in her car, in the driveway, down her legs, and in her shoes. Of course, she was wearing white shorts.
When I got there, she was clearly distraught, crying, and embarrassed. She was standing behind the house in her soiled underwear and her shirt. She was too shocked to move. Here’s my 52-year-old dad and myself, 24 years old, trying to comfort her. The truth was that it was just too funny and both of us burst out laughing while she was bawling.
Coming in the yard and seeing my dad hosing off the driveway and the side of the car from explosive diarrhea was just too funny at the time. He also had to tell me he hosed her off too. I felt so bad but it was hilarious.
When I was about 10 years old, my very abusive aunt and I were fighting about something stupid. We were on the second floor of the house, and we were arguing while we walked down the stairs. My aunt started to get more aggressive, gripping my arms and shaking me. And then she started to lightly hit my arms and head, which told me she was going to start pulling my hair soon.
At that time, I had a morbid thought. I thought: What would happen if I pushed her down the stairs? I wanted to see if I could make her bleed like she’d done to me. My aunt was getting more extreme when she just grabbed me and out of reflex I pushed her away—down the flight of stairs. I don’t know why, but relief filled me and I vividly remember I laughed like crazy. Eventually, my brother and dad had to calm me and call the ambulance.
She ended up in the hospital with a major concussion and several stitches, and I got a trip to therapy.
I was at something called a “safe drive stay alive” event. If you didn't know about the event, it is to show how unsafe driving can impact lives and it is to discourage teenagers from doing so once they start driving. A guest speaker was talking about how she’d lost her son to him driving while inebriated. As this poor woman was talking about her son's passing, a picture of him was projected on a screen. It seemed, however, she’d used the absolute worst photo of him possible.
In the photo, her son reminded me of Denzel in his “Pump It Up” video. Remember that? With that awful gelled hairstyle and tragic self-tan. Well, this awful photo triggered my friend and I. We were trying our hardest to not laugh, but we couldn't help it. It was definitely a terrible time to start laughing considering the woman was discussing the end of her son’s life.
This was in Sunday School during First Communion practice when I was about seven years old. That day we were learning how to "eat the body" and "drink the blood" of Christ when I got a little impatient. I decided to dip the bread into my cup of grape juice and watched in horror as the bread became a soggy purple mess in my cup.
In order to hide the evidence, I tossed that soggy blob—along with all of the juice—on the floor. That was a huge mistake. At that exact moment, our teacher asked us to bow our heads in prayer. As we all looked down to pray, many of the other kids in class noticed the blob on the floor and looked around for the culprit. Me, with my stupid grin on my face, gave it away and I started laughing mid-prayer.
The teacher did not take kindly to my rude interruption of the lord's prayer and asked me if I thought praying was funny. I said, "No ma'am, I'm sorry" and tried to hold it together but 10 seconds into starting the prayer for the second time, I burst out laughing again. At this point, it was uncontrollable and I was kicked out of class. Let's just say I had some extra “Hail Marys” and “Our Fathers” to perform later that night.
Once I was in a pretty serious finance meeting with one other woman and two men. One man was Black, and the rest of us were white. You’ll soon see why this is relevant. We started out the meeting on a lighter note with a cute story about the other woman's grandson having a tough time with his history class. The woman ended her story by laughing that there's no real reason for it to be taught at his age, because you don’t use history knowledge outside of high school.
Admittedly she is a little out of touch and not the most socially graceful. Anyway, the Black guy then and there with a completely straight face said, “Well, I think some histories still need to be taught”. It was just such a perfect and quick response to such a stupid remark. It hit me hard, and I tried to hold in the laughter because no one else laughed. She had no idea what the guy’s remark had meant.
It started out as a high-pitched squeak that proceeded for an excruciating few seconds and exploded into a single HA! I think I startled them all with how loud and unexpected it was. No one else laughed, and we tried to move along the meeting as quickly as possible. I was “embarrassment sweating” so bad I had to change my blouse afterward. It was one of the most cringey moments of my life.
My grandmother passed a number of years ago. My aunt—her daughter—is a professional musician, and she composed a piece of music that she then hired someone to perform at the funeral. While my aunt is an amazing, world-class pianist, she is no kind of composer. So we're at the funeral and this woman is singing the song and it's terrible: cringey even.
The last bit of the song, however, was the part that did me in. It was my grandmother's name being sung about two octaves higher than most people can possibly sing. And as loud as possible. I guess it was supposed to be a huge crescendo into the name, and I can see my aunt writing it, thinking that it would be the final thing that would drive people over the edge with their grief.
The woman busted that out and I lost it. I got in so much trouble, but I could not control it. I giggled for 10 minutes afterward. It didn't go well with the family.
I was sitting at the bus terminal and waiting for the bus. There were many people walking by and whatnot, and the station was kinda echoey. This guy with obviously special needs walked right in front of me and this dude somehow lost his footing. He face planted so hard and right in front of me. Like, this guy slipped so hard his feet were at my eye level before his face connected with the tile.
I felt so bad and tried to help the best I could, but for the life of me, I couldn't hold in a laugh. I was in tears walking away
I was in a doctor’s waiting room with my mother and a woman came out holding the hand of her small daughter, who had a cast on her arm. I assume the broken arm was the reason for the visit, but I didn’t know for sure. Then suddenly, disaster struck: The mom dropped to the floor and started violently convulsing. She was clearly having a seizure while still holding the kid’s hand.
I have no idea why, but my first thought was: “This is the worst time you could ever laugh. Do not laugh, or everyone will hate you forever”. I immediately lost it. I somehow managed to laugh somewhat quietly and hid my face behind my book. My mom was mortified and started pinching my leg to make me stop.
My brother was in an accident one time. He rolled the truck he was driving and was thrown from the vehicle. They took him to the hospital and were working on him when I got there. Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt too bad, but he did just about get his ear ripped off. They had him pretty drugged up and he was in and out of semiconscious.
I was standing at his bedside, thankful that he was still alive, when they said they were going to try to clean up his ear a little. I think whatever they put on his ear must have had some alcohol in it or something that burned, because when they stuck the gauze to his ear, he had a strange reaction. He opened his eyes as wide as they would go, looked me straight in the eyes, and screamed as loud as he possibly could right in my face.
Mom made me leave the room when I couldn’t control my outrageous laughter.
When my husband and I were training for a care job, they showed us a video about the thalidomide scandal. In the video there was a guy with no feet, and my hubby leaned over and said to me: "I wonder what size shoes he takes". Even though it wasn’t that funny, I couldn't control my laughing, and neither could the rest of the carers training with us.
When we couldn’t stop, some of us had to be excused from the room to regain our composure. The lady training us wasn't amused. Oopsie!
I was walking through a county courthouse to get my marriage license. I came around a corner and this guy was talking to a woman in this weird, exaggerated crying/upset voice. It was so over the top, that I thought it was a joke and laughed out loud, thinking I was laughing along with his joke. About as soon as my laughter came out of my mouth, I realized something was wrong. He turned to look at me and I saw that he was super serious.
Whatever words he’d actually said also finally registered in my brain. He was sitting outside a courtroom, and I realized he had pretty much either just lost his family, or was about to, and I’d laughed at him begging to keep his family together.
I think I was about 11 years old when my twin, an acquaintance of ours, and I were at our friend's house for dinner. When our friend's mother said a prayer, before eating, in her native tongue—I think she is Jewish maybe—our acquaintance just lost it and burst out laughing. It was totally inappropriate and yet while I didn't find the situation funny, I started laughing too.
I was highly embarrassed and unsurprisingly none of us were invited to dinner again. I felt bad.
My dad took me and my younger brother for a walk behind my grandma's house. My brother was living primarily with my mom at the time, and I had been staying strictly with my dad. He sat us down and pulled out a piece of paper, and he told us that our mom had tested positive for some drug use and it was actually fairly serious stuff.
My brother was bawling his eyes out, and me? I was trying to hold back the laughter. I was the only one of my siblings that realized how manipulative and evil my mom was so I wasn’t surprised at all. Still, I couldn’t help but feel bad at almost laughing about it.
There was a health test machine in the canteen of my old workplace that would measure your BMI, blood pressure, weight, and that kind of thing. I went to use it and a rotund friend of mine tagged along to use it for the first time. When it came to measuring his BMI, you have to imagine the slide whistle sound effect as the arrow on the reader went all the way to the end and into the 'obese' section.
I'm not mean enough to laugh at that. But this wasn't over. My friend’s crestfallen look and his shocked and whimpering question: "I'm obese?" That made me crack up laughing inappropriately.
So, I'm an insurance adjuster and had just started working auto claims. For the previous six to seven years I worked on homeowners’ storm claims. I already have a horrible sense of humor, but me and my buddy were at his desk and he got a claim involving a fatal car accident. So, it's kind of a rare sight in that cubicle world to have photos of the mangled truck he was driving.
There were about seven or eight adjusters standing around his desk and everyone was looking at the pictures, but we were talking and acting really concerned and upset. My friend then very quietly leans over to me and says: "should have been driving a Subaru." I freaking burst out laughing. Everyone was just stunned and gave me a horrible look.
If you don't know, there were commercials about how safe Subarus are and their tagline was "he lived" or "she lived” or "they lived" while showing wrecked cars. Kind of messed up advertising but it got the point across. Anyways, those co-workers never saw me the same. Still, it was worth it.
When I was about 15 years old, my aunt was telling the family about an operation my grandfather had. Anyway, she said that the doctors said that after the operation he might be incontinent for some days. I don’t know if I misheard or just wasn’t sure about the meaning of the word. For some reason, I thought she meant infertile, which is kind of funny about a very old man. For this reason, I burst out laughing. I mean, I don’t think grandpa was about to get anyone pregnant.
The truth was that he was going to be needing to wear adult diapers, otherwise he'd wet his pants.
My ex-girlfriend had a cat named Cookie that she really loved. Well, one day, Cookie passed. My girlfriend insisted on digging a little hole to bury the poor thing in. Unfortunately, before we had a chance to bury him, he stiffened. Because of this, the hole wasn't large enough anymore. In the end, our mutual friend and I had to jump up and down on the lifeless thing, whilst my girlfriend and her friend were crying like crazy.
Purely from the absurdity of the situation, I found myself laughing because it reminded me of one of those awkward sitcom moments. My girlfriend's friend was not very happy with me, or my girlfriend’s sister and mother. You're probably asking why we didn't just make the hole bigger. Well, her garden was mostly decking and stone so the actual hole was in a very small section of grass in her garden.
We were in the UK and working at a place where old people lived. One day everyone was gathered around a TV to watch some important event with the Royal family. The ward was full of elderly patients and staff and all was quiet. Suddenly one of the older men sat up and loudly said, “I’d love to get my pistol and take out every one of those losers”. He then proceeded to go through the actions with his invisible weapon and aimed and taking a shot at each member on screen.
Most of the staff and patients were horrified, well all except for me. I couldn’t hold it in, I was spluttering and my shoulders were going up and down. I was asked to leave the room. It probably was one of those occasions where you had to be there.
Bless him he was unwell, but that man used to crack me up.
We had a project in English where we had to tell a story about some form of “different or otherness” from our life. I think the idea was to talk about something like experiences with prejudice or mental health issues or something like that. So, this one kid who had just moved back to our town—he’d moved away a few years prior—started telling his story.
His story was very sad. He told us about him and his sisters being taken advantage of by their father, and mocked and neglected by their mother. It was really sad and moving, and my whole class was on the verge of tears for this kid. The story then got somehow more intense. He was telling this really messed up thing that happened, and the teacher in the next room decided to start a movie for her class.
We all suddenly hear the 20th Century Fox theme music playing at full volume. It was perfectly loud enough to interrupt the poor guy. I can’t explain why, and I felt so bad—and still do—but I just burst out laughing for a few seconds. I quickly got a hold of myself, but I was the only one who laughed.
My grandmother had a vendetta against a woman at their church where my grandfather was a pastor. This woman would often interrupt church service to ask everyone to pray for her and give my grandmother late-night calls to have her pray for her. The things she would ask people to pray for were things like a cut on her knee that she didn't want to get infected, or for her eating one too many cupcakes. Things that didn't need a late-night phone call or to interrupt church service.
So basically, my grandma absolutely loathed her, and she would get so mad if we even brought up this woman's name. When my grandfather passed, we all of course went to the funeral. We were all in the front row at the service, and we were sitting listening to the choir enjoying memories of my grandfather. As the microphone was passed around, my grandma’s nemesis stood up.
At this point, my sisters and I are all looking at each other like oh no! We look at my grandma and she is shaking her head profusely. The crazy old bat stands up and starts going on a list of all the things my grandfather prayed for her for. Now at this point, the whole front row was laughing. It started with my mom then my sister then my dad and after I saw my dad laughing I lost it.
The pastor running the funeral took the microphone out of the old lady's hands and he started laughing too. Next, the whole church was laughing and none of us could stop. I think my grandfather was looking down laughing as well.
I was in sixth grade, washing my hands alone in the bathroom. Class was in session, but I had begged for a bathroom pass. At this point, in ran the art teacher, who was a real jerk and hated and made fun of by us kids. I thought nothing of it until I heard a powerful stream of liquid hitting the water in the toilet of the stall he chose. The guy was having intense diarrhea.
I had no hope of containing my laughter and ran from the room with soap-covered hands, giggling like a little girl back to the classroom. I knew I couldn’t go into the classroom laughing like that, so I stood outside the door trying to compose myself but to no avail. Another student came out for some reason and asked me what I was laughing about. I was struggling to tell him between laughter fits, and then the art teacher came walking down the hall and I lost it all over again.
I don’t recall how I got back into the classroom, but everyone wanted to hear the story for days to come.
I grew up in a protestant family, and when I was a teenager I went to a youth group Bible study once a week. It was for teenagers, and led by someone who was like 20, so the maturity level was pretty low on average. One night the leaders were trying to get it started, and for some reason, people just have the giggles, and are completely incapable of focusing that night.
So after a good five to 10 minutes of the leader trying to calm down the hysteria and get things started, we finally quiet down. He then decides to lead us in a prayer, asking God to help us focus. Everyone else is completely silent at this point, and as soon as he finishes praying, I open my eyes and look down at my friend’s socks. She has socks that are labeled "left" and "right".
This was funny enough on its own, but it got worse: She had them on the wrong feet! This sets off my giggles again and I immediately burst out in another eye-watering laugh, point out the socks, and several people follow. Needless to say, it was not a productive night.
I was maybe six at this time, and I really liked action movies. So, the teachers brought us all into the cafeteria. We were supposed to watch something on the huge TV they wheeled in. I didn’t really understand what it was at the time. All the teachers were so excited because a teacher they all knew from a nearby town was involved. Everybody in the school was excited and on the edge of their seats watching the TV.
My friend and I were lil’ skateboarding rebels so of course we were against anything the majority of people supported and refused to pay attention. We looked up from being bored out of our minds just at the moment the space shuttle Challenger exploded. We jumped up and cheered as the room broke out in screaming and crying from the good people who actually understood what had just happened.
A teacher blacked out and another was on the ground crying uncontrollably. Children were screaming and crying. But we were so happy! Whatever this stupid school thing was about, it didn’t work, so we were laughing and cheering. And were promptly walked down to the principal's office. Eventually, the principal pulled it together and went to the office to yell at us.
He explained that there were people on that shuttle. That a close friend of my teachers had lost their life. They all knew her. She was a real person, not just something on TV. That shut us up. Then we got it. Then we were sad too. And for the rest of my life, I always feel a shadow of shame pass over me anytime I hear about that terrible day.
I know I was a kid, but it was still my reaction. I wish that had not happened. My poor teachers.
I was at the beach with two German Shepherds that I was dog-sitting. These guys loved to play fetch, especially at the beach. My brother threw the ball, and as soon as he did, I saw a small child about age four in the path. I was just thinking: "No, no, no”. Sure enough, the dogs both completely collided into each other and then ran right over the poor kid. The dogs had flattened the kid and paid no attention and kept going.
Of course, the kid’s parents came running and were all freaked out. No matter how hard we tried not to, my brother and I couldn’t stop laughing. They were not happy with us.
My band teacher was passing out new music for our spring concert and we saw that it was “Amazing Grace”. A beloved teacher at our school had just passed, so I figured it was going to be played in his memory. I told my friend my theory, “I bet this will be played for so and so teacher at the spring concert!” She thought it was an interesting theory and so we were desperate to find out if I was right.
The band teacher then got up on the podium and explained why we were playing the piece. It turned out that I was right, it was for the deceased teacher. My friend completely forgot the context of the situation and turned to me super excited and said “You were right!!” and she went in for a high five. I, too, somehow forgot the situation, and laughed triumphantly while giving her a high five.
My teacher chewed us out and once we were reminded of the situation. We were mortified for the rest of the day.
I was eating dinner with several people at a Mexican restaurant. A friend of ours who was there with us had a girlfriend who had a problem pronouncing the letter “R”. They always sounded like a “W”. The girlfriend wasn't there yet, so we were giving him a hard time. We were saying words and intentionally replacing all of our “R”s with “W”s. We knew it wasn’t nice, but we were just dumb teenagers with no manners.
After 10 minutes of non-stop busting his chops, the girlfriend walked in and of course, we all stopped. A few minutes later, the waitress asked for our orders. His girlfriend asked for enchiladas and the waitress asked if she wanted red or green salsa on it. She quietly responded: "Gween". The entire table lost it. So terrible.
When I was in college a touring company of the musical Fiddler on The Roof came to perform at the student center. My roommate and I decided to go at the last minute just for something to do that night. Because we came quite late, we had to sit in the second row. So, we ended up about two meters (six ft) from the actors: a big mistake.
There was this one guy in the cast who had a strange habit when he was singing. At the start of every line, he would go "Nnnnnnnn" and then sing the line. This started me giggling, and then my roommate asked me what I was laughing at. I told her about the singer and she noticed it too. We were both trying hard not to laugh. It came to a point where we couldn't even look at each other, or we would start laughing again.
We tried to hide it, but one of the actresses on stage noticed us laughing. I think she knew what we were laughing at, because—believe it or not—she started giggling too. That made the whole thing even worse. Even now, when I think back the whole thing still makes me laugh, it was so embarrassing but so very funny.
I was once on an airplane watching Ace Ventura and it was right in the middle of the famous—and hilarious—shark tank scene. At that moment, a girl who was about 16 years old was walking down the aisle and she suddenly collapsed right next to my seat. I couldn’t hold my laughter as everyone around me panicked and started calling for doctors.
Even worse was that it was a school trip and the girl was in my group.
I took one of my kids to the doctor for his yearly checkup. Kiddo was just under a year, so very much still a baby. As it was his usual nap time, he’d fallen asleep on the way over there. The little guy was limp through all his tests and then finally came the vaccination shots. Both the nurse and myself tried to wake him, but he was out cold. I thought he’d be fine to give him a quick shot, and he’d never know what happened.
It went absolutely horribly. As soon as he was poked, he jerked hard and woke up and screamed bloody murder. I couldn’t control myself and I lost it and started laughing. The nurse was not pleased with me and stared daggers at me the rest of the visit before the doc came in. Kiddo was and is fine. He stopped crying a minute or two after consoling. It still cracks me up when I think about it.
There was this girl that I was interested in when I was in high school. One day she showed me a picture of her younger brother. I saw her pull a small black and white photo from her wallet, she looked at it, and then as if it was a scene directed by Edgar Wright, she put the photo in the center of my vision. I was shocked and I couldn’t hide it.
You see, her brother clearly had some sort of disability, but she didn't tell me about it before she showed me the picture. I was so convinced that it was some sort of practical joke or some gag that I busted my gut laughing. It took me a bit to realize it was real. Luckily for me, she didn't think I was a jerk and thought I was laughing at something else.
I was at a friend’s wedding where the bride’s sister was the maid of honor. The sister was making a speech that started out: “Everyone thinks the most important people in the world are doctors, or lawyers—but the most important people in the world are poets. And I wrote a poem.”
What followed was some Dr. Seuss-style childish rhyme about her sister, absolutely terrible garbage.
You could hear people trying not to laugh, and then some guy on her family’s side of the aisle yelled out: “Hey, at least she’s hot!”
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